Using Buzzsumo for Building Outreach Lists

by Wayne Barker March 17th, 2014 

So you have created, or are planning on making, an awesome piece of content. You know, the kind that Matt Cutts will love; its informative, its funny, it looks brilliant and its going to make you niche famous ;)

Maybe.

Having great content is not enough. You also need to make sure you have an audience, and you need to make sure that give your content a chance to thrive by promoting it as well as you can. I'm sure I'm not the only person that has seen some great pieces of work that have not been promoted properly. It often feels like some companies have jumped on the content band wagon without fully grasping the idea that if you make content you have to market it. The chances of something being discovered all by itself, without any help from you, falls somewhere between incredibly slim and not-on-your-nelly.

You have to promote it. You have to have sites, blogs and influencers that are willing, or will want, to share it and link to it.

Whether you build your list before, during, or after the process of creating your content there are a few things that you need to remember:

  1. The sites on your lists need to be relevant to the content that you have built
  2. That the sites on your list should have easily identifiable people working on, or for, them so that you can create a relationship that isnt the equivalent of a one night stand
  3. The sites on your list need to have socially active readerships for maximum exposure

Thats where Buzzsumo comes in. If you haven't come across Buzzsumo before it is one of the new kids on the block in the realm of content tools. Whilst it appears to be fairly simple " never judge a book by its cover " it will soon be one of the most powerful tools in your kit, I swear.

Today I'm going to run through a few features of Buzzsumo that will help you build better, more complete, outreach lists.

Finding Top Content

Whilst there is an argument that this feature is best suited for finding content to share on your social networks or as a brain storming tool, we have been using it internally to find new sites to add to our outreach lists.

There are 3 sections you need to fill in " the fact that it is so simple to use means that anyone can get cracking in less than 5 minutes:

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1) Enter some keywords pertaining to your content

2) Filter by the type of content

3) Filter by time ranges

That's it; three fields to fill in. No confusing advanced operators (sorry Followerwonk), nothing complicated. It all happens in the background.

So here is what you see when you have popped in your keywords:

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Nifty, hey? You can see here that these are the most shared articles about link building in the last week. If you know the SEO industry at all you will know that the sites that it has pulled up are relevant (most of the time) as well as being some of the most respected in the industry.

Buzzsumo can be very handy when you are new to a particular niche. Essentially its using some smart filtering in the background and combining that with the power of the crowd " which pieces of content are getting shared the most?

If the content that is being shown isn't quite to your liking you can always dip your toes into their advanced search operators to get better results. Don't worry, there aren't many and you will probably be familiar with them anyway:

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When you are happy with the results you can export them to Excel and add the most relevant ones to your outreach list.

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So that's a great start!

It is, however, also quite likely that you will now have a list of the toughest sites to get your content in front of. The big guns are important and they should go on to your list, but it also helps to have some lesser known sites on there too. The chances of these people seeing your email are higher, and you're more likely to gather those elusive links. Bucketing prospects is an important one to master, have a read of this post to learn more.

What if you could see the profiles of the people that shared similar content over the last week? Having this information could lead to some interesting, and lesser known, sites. Sound like a lot of hard work? Don't worry, Buzzsumo have your back:

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See that little View Sharers button? That one little button is your new best friend. Click and you will get this:

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You can see a list of all the people that Buzzsumo can pull that has shared that content in the last week. You can get more detail here:

1) You get their full name where Buzzsumo has managed to find it — and that is most of the time

2) Buzzsumo will attempt to define the twitter account — blogger, influencer, company and so on

3) If you are signed in with your twitter account you can follow the people quickly, add them to a list that you already have set up in Twitter

4) You can see their bio and where possible get the URL of their site or blog

5) You can also see the other links that they have shared

The View Links Shared button takes you through to another screen that can allow you to find even more sites:

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As with the Top Content section you can also take the Sharers section and export it to Excel for working through at your own leisure:

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With Buzzsumo you can easily use the top content to:

  • Find authoritative sites in the niche for your content
  • Locate the people that share the content related to your niche
  • Find the sites that are owned by the people who share content in the niche
  • Locate the sites that are also by shared by these people

Buzzsumo effectively lets you follow a breadcrumb trail and helps you connect the dots between the big sites, the smaller sites, and the people that are likely to share and link to your content.

Now that's better than going to Google and typing list of link building sites and having the same set of sites to outreach to that everyone else in your niche has as well isn't it?

Finding Top Influencers

You will notice next to the Top Content option is Influencers. This, unsurprisingly, allows you to find influencers on Twitter that are related to the keywords that you associate with your content.

Lets stick with the link building concept for now. Simply pop that in the search box and Buzzsumo goes to work:

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1) Pick the Influencers tab

2) Pop in the keywords related to you content — adjust with operators if required

3) Filter by journalists, bloggers, and more — you can even choose to ignore broadcasters, who don't share other peoples updates

4) See your people

You will see from the list that has been pulled back from link building that it is pretty good at identifying influencers. The hit rate is far better than on Followerwonk and you can quickly export your list of influencers and the websites that they own.

In less than an hour Buzzsumo allows you to:

1) Identify content that has done well in your chosen niche

2) Identify the sites that are considered to be an authority in that niche

3) Find people who have shared content that is your niche

4) Find Twitter details websites of people that are considered influential in that niche

5) Find other sites with content that they have shared

6) Find influencers in your niche

This is why Buzzsumo has become one of the post powerful tools in our arsenal. It quickly and efficiently helps you identify and learn about a niche in very little time. It allows you to gather the data for building a rich and targeted outreach list.

Dig in and have a play, its not just for building your outreach lists, Buzzsumo can help you identify an audience before you start building content, it can help fuel your social media campaign, it can help you identify influencers to interview — the list goes on!

Wayne Barker

I work for Boom Online - an Online Marketing and SEO company based in Nottingham, England.

Boom Online

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